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It is all over with me; you can be of no assistance to me in any thing. All that I beg of you to do for me, Seigneur D'Alègre, is to assure the king that I die his servant, and only regretting that I cannot serve him any more. Present my respects to my lords, the princes of France, and to all the gentlemen and captains. Farewell, my good friends; I recommend to you my poor soul.” Upon this they took their last leave of him and retired. At the same moment the Marquis de Pescara came up to him, and with tears in his eyes, exclaimed, “Would to God, Seigneur Bayard, that I had shed my blood, as much as I could lose without dying, to have you now my prisoner in good health ; you should soon know how much I have always esteemed your person, your courage, and all the virtues which you possess, and for which I have never known your equal.” He then caused his own tent to be carried and spread round him, and he assisted him upon the bed. He placed a guard to take care that no one should plunder or disturb him; and he himself went for a priest, to whom Bayard confessed, in full possession of his faculties, and with an edifying piety. The Spanish army, from the highest to the lowest, hastened to admire the expiring hero. The Constable de Bourbon came with the others, and said, “Ah, Capitaine Bayard, que je suis marri et déplaisant de vous voir en cet état ! je vous ai toujours aimé et honoré pour la grande prouesse et sagesse qui est en vous : ah! que j'ai grande pitié de vous ! Bayard summoned up his strength, and with a firm voice made him that answer for ever memorable : “Monseigneur, je vous remercie; il n'y a point de pitié en moi, qui meurs en homme de bien, servant mon roi ; il faut avoir pitié de vous, qui portez lez armes contre votre prince, votre patrie, et votre serment.” The constable remained a short time with him, and gave him his reasons for having left the kingdom; but Bayard exhorted him to seek the king's pardon and favour, for that otherwise he would remain all his life without wealth or honour. Bayard was left alone, and now he thought only of death. He devoutly recited the psalm, Miserere mei, Deus; after which he prayed in the following words with a loud voice: “O my God, who hast promised an asylum in thy pity for the greatest sinners who return to thee sincerely and with all their heart; in thee do I place my trust, and in thy pro
mises all my hope. Thou art my God, my Creator, my Redeemer. I confess that against thee I have mortally offended, and that a thousand years of fasting upon bread and water in the desert could never efface my sins; but, my God, thou knowest that I had resolved to repent, if thou hadst prolonged my life; I know all my weakness, and that by myself I should never have been able to merit the entrance into Paradise, and that no creature can obtain it only through thy infinite mercy. O my God, my Father, forget my sins, listen only to thy clemency. Let thy justice be appeased by the merits of the blood of Jesus Christ” - death cut short the sentence.
“ His first cry, says the amiable M. de Berville, who has written his life, “ when he felt himself mortally wounded, was the name of Jesus ;” and it was pronouncing this adorable name that the hero yielded up his soul to its Creator, the 30th April, 1524, in the 48th
age. You have been told of those who died “the death of a philosopher;" this which you have witnessed is the death of the Christian. In the History of Galien Restauré there is a very affecting account of the death of that hero's father, the noble Count Olivier, the brother of Roland. He lived to discover his son, and to commend him to the care of his uncle. “Peu de tems après Olivier jetta un grand soupir, disant: Dieu tout puissant, faites-moi misericorde, et ayez pitiez de ma pauvre ame. Après que le Comte Olivier eut achevé son oraison, il leva les yeux au ciel et mit ses bras en croix, et rendit l'esprit à notre Seigneur. Roland, qui etoit la, voyant mourir son cher ami, commença à pleurer amerement celui qui avoit été le fleau des infidelles, et le zelé protecteur de la religion catholique. Galien étoit encore dans une plus grande tristesse ; il embrassoit son père, et fondoit en larmes, disant ainsi : 0 cruelle mort, pourquoi m’as-tu si tot enlevé mon père, qui étoit le confert des Chrétiens et l'aumonier des pau
But to leave romance. With the name of Charlemagne is connected all the wonder of history, all the images of fiction, and all kind of renown.
“ His political wisdom,” says Mably, “should supply lessons to kings of the most enlightened age." “ The glory of succeeding times,” says Marchangy, “has not deprived this monarch of our admiration : neither our heroic misfortunes on the
banks of the Jordan, nor the carousals and tournaments of chivalry, neither the victories of Bovines and Marignan, of Fribourg and Marseilles, nor all the palms of Philip and Louis, all the laurels of Duguesclin and Bayard, can make the children of the Muses forget what they owe to Charlemagne. Let us view him on his death-bed : the heavens seemed to participate in the great event of his departure. He saw his death approach with the same intrepidity as he would have shewn in battle. He was occupied in correcting a copy of the Holy Scriptures when the fever of death
His last effort, on the eighth day of his illness, was to lift up his feeble right hand, and make the sign of the cross on his forehead and breast; after which he composed his limbs, and expired with these words : “ In manus tuas commendo spiritum meum ; redemisti me, Domine Deus veritatis.' Thus died the hero of France and of the world, the model of great kings, the ornament and the glory of humanity. As celebrated in the records of religion by his piety, as he was illustrious in the annals of the world by his exploits, the Church has ranked him among the Saints,' and all nations have agreed in styling him “ The Great." He died on the 28th of January, 814, in the 72d year of his age.
The character of his son Louis is thus described : “He was slow to anger, quick to compassion. Every day early he would go to pray in the church, where he remained with bent knees, touching the pavement with his forehead, humbly praying, and sometimes with tears. He was adorned with innocent manners. He never wore golden habits, unless on the great feasts, as was the custom with his fathers. Daily, before meat, he gave large alms.” His times were troublesome, but he was a virtuous and a very learned king.
Turn we now to witness the last moments of the great Orlando, wounded to death at Ronceval, as related by Archbishop Turpin. The following was his prayer : “O Lord Jesus, to thee do I commit my soul in this trying hour. Thou who didst suffer on the cross for those who deserved not thy favour, deliver my soul, I beseech thee, from eternal death. I confess myself a most grievous sin
| The Church has merely tolerated his commemoration at Aix-laChapelle.
ner, but thou mercifully dost forgive our sins; thou pitiest every one, and hatest nothing which thou hast made, covering the sins of the penitent in whatsoever day they turn unto thee with true contrition. O thou who didst spare thy enemies, and the woman taken in adultery, who didst pardon Mary Magdalen, and look with compassion on the weeping Peter, who didst likewise open the gate of Paradise to the thief that confessed thee upon the cross; have mercy upon me, and receive my soul into thy everlasting rest.' Then stretching his hands to heaven, he prayed for the souls of them who perished in the battle; and immediately after this prayer, his soul winged its flight from his body, and was borne by angels into Paradise.
In witnessing scenes of this melancholy grandeur, the admiration and astonishment of the historical student will be continually excited. “ It is an instructive example for all conditions to witness the death of a great man, who unites noble sentiments with Christian humility.” This is the observation of the French historian Anquetil, when he prepares to relate the tragical death of the gallant Montmorenci, who was abandoned by the Duke of Orleans to the resentment of his brother Louis XIII., or rather, perhaps, of Richelieu. Permission, it seems, had been granted to him to have his hands at liberty on going to execution, but he refused to avail himself of this indulgence. “ Un grand pécheur comme moi,” said he, ne peut'mourir avec assez d'ignominie.”
Of his own accord he took off his superb dress, in which he was at liberty to have appeared. “Oserais-je bien,” he said, « étant criminel comme je suis, aller à la mort avec vanité, pendant que mon Sauveur innocent meurt tout nu sur la croix.” Every action of his last moments was marked with the seal of Christianity: he was so full of hope that he seemed rather to desire than to fear death. There did not escape from him either complaint or murmur: he stepped with firmness upon the scaffold, placed his head upon the block, cried to the executioner “Strike
I Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Qui latronem exaudisti,
boldly !” and he received the blow in commending his soul to God.? How affecting were the words of Don Padilla to Don Juan Bravo, when being led to execution for their revolt in the reign of Charles V., and being publicly denounced as traitors, Don Bravo gave vent to his indignation ; but Padilla reproved him, saying, “Yesterday was the time to display the courage of a knight ; today, it is to die with the meekness of a Christian !"
We expect to meet with such principles in the martyrs of the Church. We are then the less astonished at such instances of the power of God in the doctrine of the Cross : we are prepared for the conduct of the Archbishop of Arles, who generously stepped forward to his assassins to save his clergy, who were pressing round him, and to lay down his own life with these few words : "Je suis celui qui vous cherchez:" but it overwhelms the mind with surprise when this mysterious power is exercised upon the proud heart of conquerors and states
Above all, it is in the death of royal personages that the observation of Anquetil is most strikingly displayed. Mary Queen of Scots, Louis XVI. of France, their death was clothed with all the pomp of royalty.. It was the monarch who died, while the saint ascended into heaven.
All these great sufferers acknowledged the power to which they were indebted for this support. The words of Louis XVI., when he attended mass for the last time in the tower of the temple, are very striking : “Que je suis heureux d'avoir conservé mes principes de religion ! où en serais-je, en ce moment, si Dieu ne m'avoit pas fait cette grace ?"
In every sense of the word, their death was worthy of kings; they were sovereigns of France and Scotland ; but they were still greater, they had command of themselves, of fortune, and of the world.
· The Duke was beheaded at Toulouse, where an epitaph was written, of which the following lines were the conclusion :
“ Toi qui lis et qui ne sais pas
De quelle façon le trépas